Mental health is something that affects us all. So why do we pretend it
What is mental health?
Mental health is our psychological, emotional and social
wellbeing. It all comes down to how our mind affects our
everyday lives: how we think, how we act, and our emotions.
Our whole personality. There are different types of mental
health problems – ranging from simply ‘having a bad few days’
to things like anxiety, depression, OCD and more. No matter
what mental health issue you are facing, there is help available.
However, many of us still feel embarrassed to admit we need
Every single person to ever exist has suffered from some
variation of mental struggle. Some obviously more severe than
others. That’s why it’s so baffling to me that parts of society
continue to put a negative stigma around it. Now don’t get me
wrong, we have come a LONG way in recent years in being
more open about mental health, however it still isn’t good
One of the biggest issues we face in this battle is the difference
in treatment between men and women who speak up about
Did you know men are less likely to receive professional
psychological help than women? Making them more likely to
turn to other forms of ‘help’ (drugs and alcohol).
In recent reports on suicide the number of men reported was 3
times as high as women, as well as the reports on missing
people. Men are also more likely to suffer from violent
outbursts due to not getting the help needed.
If men are suffering so badly, where is the help?
weakness. Always be the protector. Provide for the family. Take
on every burden. With these expectations pushed onto us all,
it’s easy to forget that men need support too. I mean, they’re
only human. Because of these outdated beliefs, men hide their
pain and suffer in silence. Women have the luxury of not having
to pretend everything is fine. We can speak up and there will be
several people in line ready to help. Where’s the equality?
Men are also less likely to be able to detect the signs of bad
mental health due to years of supressing emotions. Many men
out there probably don’t even know they need the help in the first place.
depression. With symptoms such as: sudden outburst of
violence and anger, impulsiveness, irritability, disconnection
and excessive tiredness. Men tend to use escapist behaviour to
‘runaway’ from their issues. They’ll throw themselves into other
things such as work, or even alcohol/drugs to avoid those
conversations, which we all know doesn’t help.
We must do better for our men, like I said they sacrifice so
much for us, so why can’t we be a shoulder for them to lean
Higher rates of suicide are found in men, especially those from
minority groups; those belonging to the LGBTQ+ community,
those from minority ethnic backgrounds and those on lower
incomes. There is a strong correlation between how these men
are treated in society and how they dealt with their struggles.
Again, this is not good enough.
What can we do to change?
First of all, we can stop expecting our men to be made of steel.
We need to change the narrative and let our men know that it
is okay not to be okay. Those in the field of mental health
support can make more campaigns, advertising the help
available for men. Perhaps even a men’s only clinic, where
those who still feel a little embarrassed can go in.
Mental health in women.
Now of course it isn’t just men who need some guidance when
it comes to tackling their inner issues. Women also suffer from
mental struggles, the most common being depression and
anxiety. Although it is easier for women to speak up on their
issues and seek help, it isn’t all that simple.
There are many factors on what causes women to become depressed, anxious,
or other things. Some of which aren’t taken seriously in society.
The stress of taking care of a family, being in poverty, being a
victim of abuse and the struggles of competing for opportunity
are all possible contributing factors. Many women who come
out about their issues are faced with lines such as: ‘you’re
overexaggerating’, ‘man up’, ‘you’re lying’. Statements like this
make women shut down. One thing we can do for our women is
When does it begin?
Mental instability can occur from any age. That is why our
mental wellbeing is important from childhood. Despite this, a
lot of issues people have start from their minor years, things
like bad upbringing and neglect have a huge impact on adult
lives. Many people getting help end up realising their issues are
reoccurring from a young age. As adults we should be
supporting our younger generations in noticing the signs of
deteriorating mental health and help them bring it back on track.
Simple things like listening and allowing children/young
adults to let loose can have a serious beneficial impact on how
their minds and emotions develop. So, if you have a young one
in your life, check up on them, let them know they have
someone to turn to no matter how small the problem is.
There are many, many symptoms of bad mental health but
some of the most common to watch out for are:
Lack of appetite or overeating
Lack of social energy
Rapid mood swings
Sudden bursts of annoyance or anger
Feeling detached from those around you
If you or someone around you starts to notice
these changes please reach out to someone for
Below you can find a list of organisations ready
If you feel reaching out to an organisation is
unnecessary but still want some guidance, here
is a list of apps you can download to help
So, let’s work together and make one another
heard, for a better future in mental health.
Lauren is a content writer that is creating her own book and aspires to become a published author. While writing content, she also spends her time performing as an actress for different projects presented to her.